When shopping for a lake home it is imperative to make sure that you have the right experienced lake agent that can meet your home buying or selling needs. It could potentially save you thousands of dollars and avoid a lot of unforeseen obstacles down the road. There are many more details and hurdles to overcome than you might expect when purchasing a non-lake home. Below are some of the key considerations when you’ve decided that it’s time to buy or sell your lake home, as well as thoughts to help you find the perfect agent.
How long has this agent been in the business and how many lake homes have they sold? As with any other career we learn many things with experience and each transaction brings new challenges. An experienced agent has most likely dealt with many issues and has learned how to solve problems in the most efficient way possible. The key is solving the problems in alignment with your goals. Also, it is important to ask how many transactions the agent has completed in the past year. If the agent has completed an unusually high number of transactions, you might ask yourself how much time they will have for you as they may be too busy. If the agent has done few transactions, or working part-time, they may not be experienced enough to be knowledgeable about the purchase/sale process. According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors) the median number of transactions for 2018 was 11. You can find more statistics on realtors here.
Corps of Engineers Knowledge
For Lake Lanier, The Corps of Engineers has been delegated authority by Congress to manage and regulate public use of the lake. As part of its management program the Corps issues permits for various things related to corps property, docks, walkways, dock placement etc. Your agent needs to be well versed and have a broad understanding of how the Corps operates and how it could affect the sale/purchase/value of the property. If your agent does not have this knowledge it could cost you thousands and/or you may end up with a home that does not meet your expectations of lake life. This knowledge and experience are extremely important.
Lake Lanier consists of 692 miles of shoreline and touches 7 counties. As most know, each county has different tax rates, building codes, rental regulations, water depths, schools and so much more. Also, some areas have more boat traffic than others, lower bridges and shallow water that won’t support large boats. When buying a lake home you may want to be in a quiet area with less boat traffic or you may want to be in a very social area with activities nearby such as restaurants, waterparks and events. (One of my recent blog posts is all about the different lifestyles you can find on the lake!) If an agent understands your needs and wants, they can help you determine the best location that will suit your lifestyle when buying a home. Also, if you are selling your lake home, they will be able to market your home to potential buyers based on the benefits of living in that specific area as each area has perks.
Current Events In The Area
An agent who lives on the lake is more likely to keep up with news, events and trends in the area. Good agents have insight into what properties are coming up for sale before they are listed. Keeping up with ordinances, new businesses coming in, crime and road/bridge changes are just a few things that are important to know before you buy or sell your home. While you may be curious about popular lakeside staples like the beaches and waterparks, it’s important to have a connection to the shifting local scene as well.
An experienced lake agent has knowledge about home values, market trends, and provide comparable properties to help you with pricing or making and offer. There are many unique factors to consider when determining the value of a lake home such as distance to the water, view, water depth, and dock value. Make sure you are using a lake agent who has excellent experience to help ensure proper pricing, so you won’t overpay or under price.
When buying or selling a lake home the contract must be written properly. As an example, often non-lake agents do not include the dock in the contract which means that the seller could take it with them. It is very important that the contract is written correctly to ensure that the buyer is getting what they expect, and the seller knows exactly what they are agreeing to. Docks are very expensive, so make sure that you don’t get in a situation where you must buy a new one! Also, personal property is often exchanged with lake properties (boats, lifts, outdoor furniture etc.). Make sure you use an agent that is familiar with how the transaction is to be handled whether you are the buyer or the seller.
According to NAR, 90 percent of home buyers searched online at some point during their home buying experience. If you are buying a home your agent can set up a specific search for you that pulls up the proper criteria, and work with you to keep the criteria up to date maximizing your search efforts. Having the proper tools provided by your agent helps make the process smooth and easy and weeds out what you don’t want, with more certainty you are not missing out on that special property. If you are selling, having an agent who knows how to maximize lake-specific marketing, getting high visibility on lake specific as well as non-lake specific websites is crucial.
So as you can see, when shopping for your new lake home, not just any realtor will do. Hiring someone with very specialized experience, knowledge, and tools of the trade will not only make the process quicker and easier, but you will be infinitely more likely to find the home that’s best suited for you.
And if you’re looking, then look no further! As Lake Lanier’s top realtor, with over five years of experience in the region, and over 31 homes sold in the last 24 months alone, you’ll find that I have everything you need for the perfect lake home buying experience. Give me a call today and let’s get started!
And ATTENTION SELLERS! If you’re interested in selling your home, please see my last blog, which gives the very important reasons you should list with a licensed agent.